Today is my 36th birthday and I wanted to share something a little different than the normal lifting weights and nutrition stuff.
Being healthy is much more than looking lean, being strong, and eating well.
Those things are really nice, but there are other factors to holistic health which includes your mental and emotional well-being, how you react to life’s ups and downs (stress), and your overall outlook on life.
The list below is in no particular order.
They are little gems that I’ve learned through the 36 years I’ve been alive.
Hope you enjoy them.
Also, let me know what life lessons that have served you well.
I want to know!
Traveling is a great way to have fun, expand your perspectives and experience new cultures.
It’s been fascinating for me to see that we as people are different in so many ways, but at the core, we are very much the same.
2. Age is just a number.
I know it’s cliche but I truly believe this.
Aside from some minor aches and pains, I physically feel about 10 years younger than I actually am.
In terms of my mental and emotional age, well that depends on who you ask 🙂
It really does matter how you take care of yourself.
It can have a huge impact on how you look and feel.
3. Remind yourself of your mortality.
Having a healthy relationship with your demise can be a great motivator to take action on the things that are most important to you.
Life isn’t guaranteed and could be gone in any moment for any of us.
Being comfortable with this fact can be freeing.
It can put what’s most important to you in perspective and keep you on a path of doing what you truly want.
4. Everyone deserves respect.
No matter the job, status, race, religion, where we come from, etc. we all deserve to be treated well.
5. Laugh as much as you can.
Studies show that people who laugh more often can live happier and longer lives.
Check out this STUDY…
6. Take photos.
I find it interesting how much I forget the details of my day to day life, experiences, and adventures.
Capturing moments is easier than ever with our smartphones.
It’s always great to see old photos as they provide more depth and clarity to the memories.
7. Take funny photos.
Because why not.
8. Say “I love you” to those that you care about.
9. Thinking is overrated.
Too much thinking often leads to inaction, anxiety, and stress.
And, we think most of the same thoughts each and every day.
Here is an interesting article about the repetitive nature and content of our thoughts…
Try to find ways to engage fully in each moment and to be present. Use thinking as a tool. But beware of idle thinking, as in my experience, it isn’t much use at all.
10. We are all insecure, and that’s okay.
We all carry insecurities that we don’t dare to tell even the closest people to us.
Realizing that we are all insecure in one way or another is part of being human.
You may be surprised to learn that sharing your insecurities with trusted friends and family can be very liberating.
You may discover that we all share many of the same ones. This is freeing and it can be the start of letting them have less power over you.
I’m insecure about how I handle money, as historically I act like I won the lottery every time I get paid. But, I have also learned to not judge myself for that and I’ve built much better habits around my finances.
I’m also insecure about how I look at times. I mean, look at my profession of personal training. It’s all about looking great, feeling awesome and performing at your best.
The realization that insecurities are just thoughts, and often not true, can loosen their grip over you.
11. Be someone that can be counted on.
I have found many people and myself included are great at talking the talk. We’re great at saying we’re going to do this or do that.
But, following through and walking the walk is a lot easier said than done.
A great place to start improving your integrity is to keep your word to yourself on small, seemingly inconsequential things.
That will build momentum for you to keep your word to bigger personal things and with people in your life.
Keeping your word to yourself and others builds integrity and personal power.
Knowing that you can count on yourself and that others can count on you can have a positive and profound effect on your life.
And like anything else, it becomes better with practice.
12. Stop looking for shortcuts.
Give up searching for shortcuts. Embrace the daily consistent work.
Most shortcuts are B.S.
Be committed to putting in the time and effort towards your goals.
Embrace that it will probably take longer than you think.
You’ll build strength, resilience, and character in the process which are valuable traits to have.
13. Community is important.
We are communal creatures. We thrive around each other. Spending time with like-minded people makes life more fun and rewarding.
14. If you have the desire to do something, just go for it!
Life is short. Would you want to be on your deathbed with regrets?
15. Live with no regrets.
16. Let go of grudges.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
In all seriousness, holding onto grudges is stressful, toxic and drains you of life energy.
Obviously, it may be easier said than done, but finding a way to do so can improve the way you live and interact with your life.
17. Train for longevity.
When I was younger, I was only concerned with performing at my best. I only thought of the short-term and making nationals in Olympic Weightlifting.
I ignored nagging injuries and eventually, they led to me having two knee surgeries.
While it was tough, it was a blessing as it taught me to think bigger about how I live and train.
I learned that for me, longevity and being able to enjoy a lifetime of movement is what matters to me.
I want to be able to be living an active lifestyle well into my 90s (if I make it that long).
18. Eat for longevity.
We all know what basic healthy eating looks like.
If you don’t, it’s eating mostly whole minimally processed foods, lean meats and lots of veggies and fruit.
Taking the time and energy to build healthy eating habits is the best way to live a long healthy life.
You’ll decrease your medical costs while avoiding doctors and hospitals as much as you can as you age.
Forgiveness is akin to a karma reset.
You no longer hold onto the wrong which was done by something, someone or yourself.
This can free you from stress, guilt, and regret.
20. Eat Nachos!
Because they’re my favorite food 🙂
21. Let fear be your guide.
If something scares you, you should probably do it.
Pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone is where new experiences and growth happen.
22. Life doesn’t care. Life just happens.
Life often doesn’t make sense.
Wars, shootings, natural disasters, random accidents, premature deaths, etc., happen all the time.
In a way, much of what happens in life is random.
Being able to embrace the chaos and randomness of life can give valuable perspectives on what’s most important to you.
One of the best exercises you can do.
24. Be unapologetically you.
Everyone else is taken.
25. Do your single leg work.
Single leg exercises are hard. That means you should be doing them.
Squats and deadlifts are great and should be done. But, strengthening your legs individually can shore up strength and muscle imbalances.
26. Cherish times spent with your loved ones.
Life is short and not guaranteed to any of us. Make the most of the moments you have with those who matter to you.
27. Strive to live as presently as you can.
We often spend so much time in our heads thinking. Thinking about what to say, how to be, and what to do.
This leaves little time for truly enjoying a moment or experience without thought.
Fully engaging in life and being present adds another layer of depth, richness, and clarity to life that is outside of thought.
Gratitude is a game-changer.
Practicing gratitude and seeing things from a positive perspective can ease life’s challenges and difficult situations.
Check out this article on how gratitude can lead to more happiness…
29. Don’t hold so tightly to the “idea” of who you are.
Having an identity is important.
But, I have found it useful to not hold onto so tightly to my “identity”, how I label myself and the things that I do.
In my experience, being too rigid with the idea of “who I am” can stifle personal, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.
Being flexible allows for growth and discoveries that may not have been possible otherwise.
30. It’s never too late.
It’s never too late to start something new.
I don’t believe it’s too late to do anything. I left a high paying corporate job at age 32 to pursue my passion for health and fitness and to have freedom over all aspects of my life.
And, it’s likely that I will change my career path again (and possibly again) before it’s all said and done.
Passions are worth going after.
31. Drink coffee.
32. Be kind to yourself.
The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one with yourself.
Often the thoughts we think about ourselves aren’t that kind or forgiving.
The ability to be kind to yourself can go a long way to not only improving the relationship with yourself but every relationship in your life.
If you are well in yourself, then that spreads outwards.
33. Trust the people closest to you.
Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves.
34. Embrace “mistakes.”
I put “mistakes” in quotations because they can be valuable learning experiences.
I strive to make as many mistakes and fail as much as I can.
Mistakes and failures are the stepping stones to success.
35. Live like you’ll die today but plan to live forever.
36. Chill out.
Have fun, life’s not that serious (unless you want it to be).